Experience the Joy of Equine Therapy
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) uses the powerful relationship between humans and horses to teach life skills. Equine therapy is partially about learning to care for another living thing. It also helps you learn how to care for yourself and interact with other people more effectively. Caring for a horse teaches teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. It provides a natural setting to face fears and increase confidence and self-esteem. Equine therapy is typically just for our clients at the ranch.
You’ll learn about relationships and your personal issues with them. You’ll also overcome emotional blocks and develop greater empathy.
You’ll find this part of our program to be highly social, challenging, and fun, yet therapeutically powerful and often life-changing. The bond you’ll form with our horses—even if you’re unaccustomed to or afraid of them—is nothing short of transformative.
A licensed therapist and an experienced EAGALA-certified Equine Specialist run our equine therapy program. EAGALA is the premier professional association providing education, standards, and support for professionals providing EAP.
What Is Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy?
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), also called equine therapy or horse therapy, uses the powerful relationship between humans and horses to treat a wide range of mental health issues for people of all ages.
Caring for a horse teaches teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. In equine therapy, the client learns how to care for another living thing while also learning to care for herself and interact with other people more effectively. It provides a natural setting to face fears and increase confidence and self-esteem while clients learn about developing relationships, overcoming emotional blocks, and developing greater empathy.
Some of the shifts and impacts that I’ve really seen in our program and particularly with our clients, has just been amazing, mind-blowing. You can’t make stuff like this stuff up. And it really has allowed our clients to experience relationships in a non-threatening way, in a space that’s free of bias and assumptions and judgment and just true, true honesty of what they bring to the table, what they bring into relationships.
– Molly Freemantle, LCSW, [Equine] Therapist at Fulshear Treatment to Transition
What Is Equine Therapy Good For?
Today, equine therapy is incorporated into treatment for a wide range of mental health issues including:
- Mood-related disorders
- Learning difficulties
- Eating and food disorders
- Grief and loss
- Trauma (including post-traumatic stress disorder)
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy at Fulshear
At Fulshear, equine therapy is highly social, challenging, and fun. It’s also therapeutically powerful and often life-changing. The bond our clients form with our horses – even for those unaccustomed to or afraid of horses – is nothing short of transformative.
Fulshear is proud to have a dedicated Equine Specialist and Licensed Equine Therapist. As a licensed therapist and an experienced EAGALA-certified Equine Specialist, Molly Freemantle runs our equine therapy program. EAGALA is the premier professional association providing education, standards, and support for professionals providing EAP.
Ms. Freemantle has a deep love for horses and has seen the positive impact of equine therapy on our clients’ health first-hand.
Focusing on relationships and being present, our clients in equine therapy develop life skills that teach security, trust, and the impact of healthy and secure attachments.
If you would like to learn more about equine therapy at Fulshear, contact us today. We are here to help you heal. Take the first step and call 866-309-8762.
Meet Our Horses
Shelbee is an 11-year-old female and a true teenager at heart. She had a difficult time transitioning to life on the Ranch, having never left her mom and sibling or even seen a cow before, but after 3 years of being part of the equine team she has settled in nicely. Shelbee is very pretty, and she knows it, but not always the most confident despite being the alpha female in the herd. In fact, she is often very anxious having struggled with abandonment and is fearful of being left alone. She tends to rely on others for safety and security, seeking out a connection in healthy ways and sometimes through a crisis. She loves to be pampered and given attention, bath time and having her mane brushed out are some of her favorites. Shelbee is a great teacher when it comes to lessons on codependency, emotional regulation, connection, and healthy attachment. She resembles so many of our ladies here and many have related to Shelbee, recognizing more and more about themselves as they spend time with her.
Tex is a 24-year-old male who packs a major punch in a small size. Although he may be on the “smaller” size, his heart is as big as his name (Texas). Tex’s past is just as mysterious as he is, but he is one of the OG members of the herd here at Fulshear. Tex often stands alone, appearing distant from his herd and people. However, he is confident in himself and his place. As far as relationships, Tex sets high expectations and will test others before getting close. Sometimes he, unfortunately, ends up pushing people away out of his fear of abandonment. Tex values consistency and commitment in his relationships, which helps to build trust and ultimately the opportunity for a lifelong connection. Tex keeps his space very tidy and prides himself in having the cleanest stall in the barn. He loves to people-watch and is very curious about his surroundings. So much so, that when left to his own devices, he has coined the nickname of “Houdini” after figuring out how to escape his stall. Tex demonstrates daily how trusting relationships must be earned and are not freely given. He offers respect for those who work with him, and in doing so teaches the ladies at Fulshear that they too deserve to respect themselves. His loyalty is a quality that should be cherished. Boy, do we love our Texas.
Everyone meet Wendy, a 24-year-old female. Wendy falls towards the lower end of the herd, somewhere in the middle, although she could care less about her ranking. She enjoys spending time on her own; you will rarely see her with the other horses. As much as she appears to enjoy being alone, it does have an impact on her. Wendy oftentimes isolates and tends to go unseen by both horse and person. This makes it challenging for there to be a connection and the relationship that she truly wants. Wendy engages in some odd or depressing behaviors, such as rolling in the manure pile, and generally not caring for herself due to this lack of connection. Despite this, if someone seeks her out and shows that they are committed to the relationship, she lets her golden personality shine through (just like her color). Wendy is just as much sassy as she is sweet. She has a childlike quality about her and loves to have races in the pasture with our Barn Managers. If she could be a person, she would be Gwyneth Paltrow. Without even trying, Wendy teaches the importance of self-care and our ability to seek out connection, even when we don’t think we need or deserve it. She is one of a kind, and we wouldn’t want her any other way.
Bonus is a 20-year-old male horse, although he believes he is a Great Dane. He came to Fulshear having been a lesson horse at a pristine show barn, but Fulshear is more his style. His playful nature is beyond compare, and he makes friends with everyone. Bonus is known for having conversations with the cows in the neighboring pasture, and he loves to roll around especially in mud puddles. His desire to please others in relationships can get the best of him, resulting in a lack of boundaries. He will push your boundaries and let others push him. This can sometimes lead to him having many surface-level relationships and going to a place of compliance instead of cooperation. When he does genuinely connect with someone and find that partnership, he is excellent at providing space to feel safe and process emotions. A connection is truly what fills his bucket and shows us what it’s like to love others unconditionally. Bonus encourages us to be in tune with our inner child while recognizing the importance of having personal boundaries.
Gabby is a 25-year-old female. She sometimes gives off the impression that she does not want to be seen, rather stands back and observes what is going on around her. Gabby is very cautious in her approach to many things, including relationships. She has the tendency to be nurturing and very gentle, while also asserting her needs. When connecting with others, she sees through the surface level and is able to detect incongruence in others’ emotions quickly. Gabby values vulnerability and consistency; she is the kind of partner who doesn’t care if you are on cloud nine or down in the dumps, just that you are honest with yourself. Gabby has a loud mouth and is very vocal in the barn, making sure all the other horses understand her role in the herd. She loves belly scratches and going on rides in the pasture. She teaches the ladies at Fulshear how to let go of their fear of rejection and let down their walls. In working with Gabby, many find self-acceptance and learn that genuine connections exist when you love yourself first.